International Women’s Day

Today marks 41 years since the UN began commemorating women’s achievements on March 8. On this special day, I celebrate and honour the incredible and powerful females who are working to achieve gender equity, inclusion, and a brighter world for everyone.

Gender equity is at the heart of human rights. In the introduction to Wollstonecraft’s (1792/1975) “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” one of the earliest works of feminist philosophy, Miriam Brody argues: “It is useless, then, to seek to reform women alone, without speaking about a general reformation of all society. For the same economic and social system which oppresses women, and limits their rational development, contains, and restricts with the exercise of arbitrary power vast numbers of men as well” (p. 47).


A diverse and inclusive workforce is important to drive innovation in our global community. Excellent progress has been made, but we still have a long way to go to achieve gender parity in terms of economic opportunities, access to education and health care, and political influence/voice within households and society. For example, in the Global Gender Gap Report 2015, the World Economic Forum suggests that at current rates of change, it will take another 118 years to close the economic gap and attain gender justice.

Paula MacDowell

Credit: Cover image is me and Kabiite in Uganda working together on gender empowerment.